WSL & Championship Week 16 Review: Bristol City maintain unbeaten run
 Credit: B. East Photography

WSL & Championship Week 16 Review: Bristol City maintain unbeaten run

A late brace from Ji So-Yun ensured Chelsea and Manchester City shared the spoils on Sunday. Emily Magee writes. 

e-magee

In a week which saw only four matches played across the two divisions, Chelsea and Manchester City battled it out at the top of the FA Women's Super League whilst Championship high-flyers Tottenham Hotspur were victorious once again.

Chelsea Women 2-2 Manchester City Women

A second half double from Ji So-Yun salvaged a point for reigning champions Chelsea as they fought back from 2-0 down to share the spoils with Manchester City at the Academy Stadium.

Despite a dominant start by Chelsea, it was Tessa Wullaert who opened the scoring for the home side against the run of play in the 12th minute.

As Millie Bright dribbled the ball out from the back she was coolly dispossessed by the Belgian, who picked the ball up and drove into the box before rifling a shot past Hedvig Lindahl in the Chelsea goal.

City looked to be flying in the 24th minute as they doubled their lead courtesy of Georgia Stanway. The young Lioness delivered a wonderful first time finish in off the far post from 20 yards out, following superb hold up play by Jill Scott.

Chelsea had to improve in the second half if they were to get anything from the game and they certainly put the pressure on at the restart.

Following chances for both sides, City failed to clear a bouncing ball in the box and Ji capitalised in the 50th minute pulling a goal back for her side just moments after Caroline Weir's shot was expertly tipped onto the post by Lindahl at the other end. 

The endless pressure from Chelsea finally told with a minute left of normal time. Emma Hayes' side continued to pin City into their own box and attack with intent and the persistence eventually paid off in the 89th minute.

Just as Chelsea looked to be out of ideas, Ji struck again with a free kick 20 yards out which clipped the City wall and flew past a helpless Karen Bardsley in the City goal.

Nick Cushing's side fail to pull away from second place Arsenal with this result but do sit two points clear of the Gunners who have two games in hand. Chelsea, on the other hand, maintain their third place position in the table, albeit six points behind the leaders.

Bristol City Women 0-0 Brighton and Hove Albion Women

There was nothing to separate the two sides at the Stoke Gifford Stadium on Sunday as Bristol City and Brighton and Hove Albion played a goalless draw, a result that sends the Seagulls six points clear of the FA Women's Super League relegation place.

City, who headed into this match on the back of a six game unbeaten run in all competitions, were victorious in the reverse fixture back in September courtesy of a solitary Lucy Graham strike. However, it was the Sussex side that dominated proceedings this time around and created the most threatening opportunities in front of goal.

Brighton's Ini Umotong had the best chance of the first half as the Nigeria international found herself on the end of a Fern Whelan pass and through on goal, only to see her shot cannon back off the cross bar.

Victoria Williams then had her header cleared off the line by Julie Biesmans.

Hope Powell's side continued to dominate proceedings after the interval but it was the Vixens who had a penalty shout turned down mid-way through the second half as Kayleigh Green, who was one of two changes from the side that faced Manchester United last time out, tackled Carla Humphrey as she was about to unleash a shot at the Brighton goal. The referee, however, waved away the appeals and deemed it a clean challenge.

It was end-to-end football in the latter stages - with both goalkeepers pulling off impressive saves to keep the scores level.

Bristol City remain in fifth position six points behind fourth-placed Birmingham City, whilst Brighton sit in ninth place heading into their FA WSL clash with Birmingham on the 20th February.

Leicester City 2-3 Crystal Palace - FA Women's Championship

A Gemma Bryan brace in a battling 3-2 victory over Leicester City gave 10th place Crystal Palace hope as they continue to struggle at the bottom of the FA Women's Championship.

After a cagey first half, the game came to life after the interval as Palace opened the scoring in the 58th minute courtesy of striker Nikita Whinnett who's far post shot bounced in via the post to give the visitors the lead.

City fell further behind not long after as a double defensive fatality let Bryan in for her first and Palace's second goal of the game.

But Leicester's triple substitution gave them life in the latter stages and Hayley James made it 2-1 in the 68th minute before fellow substitute Sophie Domingo levelled the scores in the 75th minute.

However, the midland side's good work was undone as Palace grabbed a dramatic winner in the 84th minute to grab their third victory of the season - as Bryan smashed in the winner from the edge of the box. 

London Bees 0-3 Tottenham Hotspur - FA Women's Championship

Tottenham Hotspur made no mistake in maintaining their four-point lead at the top of the FA Women's Championship with a 3-0 victory over London Bees at The Hive on Sunday.

The visitors opened the scoring in the 14th minute from the penalty spot. Rianna Dean slotted home the opener after Destiney Toussaint was adjudged to have handled a Megan Wynne cross in the area.

Dean nearly grabbed a second ten minutes later as she directed her header goal bound, but fortunately for Tottenham, Bees defender Annabel Johnson mistimed her clearance and turned the ball into her own net to make it 2-0.

The game was put beyond doubt in the 47th minute as FA Women's Championship Player of the Month Sarah Wiltshire fired home following a great pass by midfielder Coral-Jade Haines in the build-up, who in turn fed England Under-19 forward Jess Naz to set up Wiltshire for her sixth goal of the season.

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